Stephen Schnetzer's Compuserve Chat: August 28, 1996
Stephen Schnetzer's Compuserve Chat: August 28, 1996
Ashley Battel (HOST)-- Good evening, everyone, and welcome to this
edition of our "Soap Chat" online conferences with our
featured guest, actor Stephen Schnetzer!
My name is Ashley S. Battel, and I, along with Mindy
Lehman, will be serving as your hosts for this evening's live
conference. Before we begin, we ask that you please take
a moment to read the "Formal conference" rules that will be
in effect for this Soap Chat conference
evening . Thank you, and we
hope you enjoy this evening's conference......
Ladies and gentlemen, I am very pleased to introduce you
at this time to our very special guest this evening - you see
him weekdays as "Cass Winthrop" on NBC-TV's
popular daytime drama, "Another World" - veteran actor
Stephen Schnetzer!! We will immediately be opening the floor to
questions, so please prepare to type in your "?"s at this
time in order to be recognized by our moderators.
Mindy (HOST)-- CT, you have the first question for tonight.
CT CH 3-- Hi Stephen! You've done a fantastic job. I
miss the humor on AW. Are there any
plans to bring back some humor to the show?
Stephen Schnetzer-- (laughing)....actually, Frankie's death is just all a big joke,
and Cass will wake up and this will all be
just one bad dream ....
The show has periodically
discussed the desire to return to humour
Obviously, it's going to take Cass
a little while to get back to that space where it will be
possible for him to play that - the comedy is very difficult to
act but it must be even more difficult to write,
because as they say, they want to return back
to comedic elements,
yet we seem to be having a problem finding our way back
to that....and just let me theorize...
I feel that times have changed and the styles have
changed on soap operas...
and that there's an NYPD Blue...
reality that is stylish now.....
and that is where the trend has gone....and that's where...
we are now, and I can use the word "stuck" now, for those
of us who want to return to the old capers, and lightness and comedy.
I'd just like to say Hi to all of the AW fans who have joined
us tonight.....I wish you well, and it's a pleasure to be here!
Mindy (HOST) -- Karri you are next with a question followed by Rebecca.
Karri -- Stephen, first of all WELCOME!!! I met you at the AW Luncheon in NYC in '95 and you were so sweet to me. Thank you. You have been doing such great work on AW since Frankie's death, but we are all just sick about it. We really all miss her so much. I loved the black and white episode....What direction would you like to see Cass go in now??? (Btw..I liked you on DAYS also)
Stephen Schnetzer-- Hello, Karri :>!.....
Stephen Schnetzer-- and thank you for your supportive remarks... I hate to sound jaded, but it is not very important as to what direction they take the character in now....what's important to me
is that I have something challenging to play, and some good actors to work with....and there's a lot of good actors on AW. I may sound a little depressed,...and I am... it's still hard for me to say where I want the character to go, because I'm still in mourning. I feel like I've lost my best friend....and that's because I have.
Karri -- Can we do anything to help bring Alice back????
Stephen Schnetzer-- You can continue your tremendous support and activity and letter-writing. Don't give up! We have a new Executive Producer.... Times and personnel can change quickly in daytime....so anything is possible, especially with fan support.
Karri-- Thanks for coming...we will try!!!!
Mindy (HOST) -- Cyndi you have the next question for Stephen and then Shirls you are next. Sorry about that Rebecca you go after Cyndi.
Cyndi Rougeau -- Welcome Stephen! It was nice meeting you and Alice at the Luncheon in April. I want to thank you for your kindness and sincerity it really left a lasting impression, compared to some of the other encounters I had. Just a few things; Alice mentioned there was
discussion of her coming back as Molly at some point in time. What is your take on that? :) Also my friend Lisa who couldn't make it tonite wanted me to say hello to you. Also do you
have any interest in having your own web page?
Stephen Schnetzer-- Hello, Cyndi and Lisa :>! I'm sorry that all of the encounters weren't more pleasant, because generally, they are a very good group of people. I'm still a little on-line shy with regards to my own web site, but that could change, especially after experiences like this :> .... I think Alice's story ideas are wonderful. If writing the shows wasn't such a lesson in futility, I'd urge her more strongly to also pursue a writing career...Molly is a great idea. I would Love to have it come to fruition, or any variation on bringing Alice back to AW....she's a complete asset to the show. She and I have discussed Molly at some length, and she has some great ideas on how to integrate Molly into the fabric of AW, and when the climate is right, I will be advancing those ideas.
Mindy (HOST) -- Rebecca you are next
Rebecca Eschliman -- Vote hearty aye for the bad dream theory. If you were given free reign, what storyline would you like for Cass (not necessarily tied to the current direction), or what non-soap role would you want to try? As much as we loathe what occasioned it, your work has been stunning these past few days. The whole cast has more or less had a hammerlock on our tear ducts. Thanks for taking the time to do this online connection.
Stephen Schnetzer-- Rebecca, to answer your question, some of the Powers that Be have discussed getting Cass back to his old self... I resented the implication that the marriage with Frankie had put a damper on Cass's personality...I hear people say "We want Cass to return to what originally made him popular"....i.e. being irresponsible or risk-taking...rogueish., gambling, etc... I don't mind returning to some of those elements...However, I have to face the fact that I'm in my middle years now....people evolve and mature, and a certain amount of returning to some of those atrributes might be viable and fun to play. However, the writers have to be careful, because there's nothing more embarassing than a middle-age man acting like a 20 year old. Having said that, what might make all parties happy, is to do some kind of storyline that deals with a man my age... having a bona fide mid-life crisis, wherein I can do things which are embarassing after an appropriate period of mo!
urning after Frankie's loss such as acting like a 20 year old, or skirt-chasing...as long as I recover from the folly of what that would be.
Rebecca Eschliman -- I applaud what you say about marriage's affect on Cass. It shouldn't be regarded as an aberration. It would be very jarring for Cass to ignore his parental role to pursue jollies. The Merry Widower is an unpleasant idea at the moment.
Shirley Neill -- Hi, Stephen - you have been awesome during this whole storyline. Of course, my heart - along with most of the fans - is breaking. How hard was it to film your last scenes with Alice? Maybe it was my own projection, but I felt I could hear some tears in your throat during that last scene together in the Cory Mansion. I think of how sad *I* am and can't imagine how it
must be for you and Linda Dano and others who have worked so closely with... Alice for so many years. Is it tough to go to work right now, in the aftermath of it all?
Stephen Schnetzer-- Hello, Shirley :> .....
Shirley Neill -- Hi, Stephen ;>
Stephen Schnetzer-- It's been very difficult going to work. I've been depressed for a month...
Shirley Neill -- You are not alone!
Stephen Schnetzer-- The performance that I'm being complimented for is beyond my control.
I"m having difficulty accepting the compliments because when you work with somebody for 7
years that you care about so profoundly, the performance goes beyond acting....I can't accept credit for the emotions that I've been experiencing and that you have viewed....the only acting
involved is in trying to crafting the real emotion that I've been experiencing. This has been by far the most devastating, and I think it also shows in the other performances. Wonderful performances...given by the cast....in a way that is what is so unique about soap operas. I don't have to act Cass, because I've experienced him for 14 years, and everything he has been through. You can't say that about any other role that an actor portrays, and when you have an almost-unique situation like Frankie, an extremely popular character with a 7 year longevity being brutally murdered...it impacts and reverberates tremendously. Does that answer your
Shirley Neill -- I think it must have been hard controlling the real Alice-leaving emotion while trying to portray regular Frankie-life scenes in the shows leading up to the murder... :< Yes, thank you.
Mindy (HOST) -- Karen you have the next question for Stephen.
Karen -- Hi, I have been watching since 1983, and I love your work on AW. I am very upset that they killed off Frankie. Will you be staying on AW? How do you feel that Maggie isn't going to be your daughter on the show?
Stephen Schnetzer-- Hello, Karen :>!..... A special thanks for being a longtime viewer, and staying with us through thick and thin. I just re-signed for another three years so I obviously plan to stay with the show...I was quite frankly a bit disappointed that Maggie was taken away from me as my daughter. I'm not sure it was such a great idea at the beginning to make her my daughter, but once they decided to make her my daughter, I was committed to it.
Mindy (HOST) -- Tara you have the next question.
Walter Dosh -- Hi Stephen, my name is Tara. I have watched you and Frankie since I was 9 yrs old! I met you at the studio in 93 you were so nice. My friend and I came from Wi. I am so devastated about Frankie- I've been through it all with you guys. I wish Alice could come back somehow! I miss her so much! I think you're a wonderful actor and I wish you continued success.
Stephen Schnetzer-- Thank you, Tara :>! I'm so glad that when people relate that they met me at fan club luncheon or at studio that it's been a positive encounter , and I appreciate your
empathy... The fan's outpouring at this difficult time has been most meaningful......We're hearing from all of the ladies out there....are there any guys that need a little encouragement to join us :>?
Ashley Battel (HOST) -- | You're participating in a very special edition of "Soap Chat" with Another World's "Cass Winthrop", actor Stephen Schnetzer......after tonight's conference, be sure to use the "Messages" function and then "Browse" on your software to check out our "NBC Soaps: AW" message section (#17) where you'll find great discussions about Cass and all of your other favorite residents of Bay City, along with exclusive polls, Bay City trivia, and more,
as we celebrate an "August In Another World", right here in The TV Zone.
Kathy Morley -- Hi Stephen ... welcome and thank you for spending your evening with us ... first, let me say that despite the horrific circumstances, you have had some wonderful scenes in the past few weeks and you have been absolutely brilliant!! ... you won't remember me, but ... I'm the (some might say weird?!) fan of yours who, several years back now, drove 12 hours from Calgary, Alberta to Penticton, British Columbia to see you at a mall appearance ... it seems that there have been no public appearances by AW cast members in western Canada since then ... do you have any idea why? or if there are any plans afoot? is there anything we can do to help? ... and finally, do you think (be honest! ) that AW will survive the turmoil of all these cast changes, EP changes, head-writer changes, etc??? ... don't misunderstand me, I have been a loyal fan for 27 years and will continue to be ... but it seems to me that each change of any magnitude has a tenfold negative effect!
on the quality (read continuity!!!) of our show! How do you see it??? ... Thanks again for being here and sharing with us ... God bless, and love to you
and your family. (p.s. is it true that if we don't start letting TPTB know how much we love Morgan, we may lose him too?!)
Stephen Schnetzer-- So much for the men .....HI, Kathy :>!!...I do remember the incident ... and your saying to me that you made that long drive for that appearance... However, forgive me ..I can't picture your face....I don't know why the personal appearances have dried up in Western Canada, but... let me speak personally...I have hit over the last many, many years... every berg and small community, from the Maritimes to Vancouver Island.... so maybe I've been over-enthused just a little to visit your country .... I miss the direct contact with the Canadian fans,
and hope that your demand for me, and other AW actors will reach the right people, so we can return repeatedly. Another World has survived for 32 years. It seems to be a Phoenix show.
We've risen from the ashes so many times that I expect we will rise again, and the show will weather this, which I consider to be the most devastating storm.... Morgan is in the midst of a renegotiation. He is somewhat disappointed in the lack of focus they've given him, given that there seems to be an accent on youth and youthful storylines on AW.... He hopes that things will work out, but to be perfectly frank, we are in jeopardy of losing another Winthrop.... Please support him in any way you can.
Mindy (HOST) -- Kelly your question is next for Stephen.
Kelly Reigle (AW) -- Hi Stephen :-) I'd like to say that I love your character and the way you portray him!! You and Alice were the main reasons for me to watch AW. I was wondering if you think it's possible that they'll realize their error and hire Alice back, also, if you're keeping in contact with her, how is she doing? Do you think Cass will have a relapse with his mental
illness, and if so, will your wife Nancy play your doctor?
Stephen Schnetzer-- Hello, Kelly :>! I'm glad you could be with us tonight... I appreciate it....
Kelly Reigle (AW) -- Anytime Stephen :-)
Stephen Schnetzer-- Alice is making the transition. She's realizing that there is life after Another World. She's been auditioning a lot, and getting very positive responses. I think the prevailing feeling about Cass and the manic depression is that it's a dead-end dramatically.
I say that with remorse because in portraying that storyline, I developed a great deal of empathy for that large segment of our population who suffer or are related to those who suffer from this very challenging illness. I also happen to think that it has great dramatic possibilities. In short, I don't think that they want to go there, and you won't see my wife, Nancy, as my psychiatrist...thanks for watching, Kelly :>!
Kelly Reigle (AW) -- Please tell Grayson we'd hate to lose him!!
Stephen Schnetzer-- I will certainly pass that along to Grayson... He's extremely popular - his mailbox at the studio is full of mail. He's very popular and TPTB should respect that.
Mindy (HOST) -- Bernice you have the next question.
Bernice R. Killory -- Hello Stephen - it is nice to "meet" you. I was curious why there weren't more stories with you and Frankie focusing on parenting, especially since they aged Charlie to be a little older. Also, they could have done more with the lawyer/P.I. route and have you two get entangled into more escapades. Any ...
Stephen Schnetzer-- Hi, Bernice :>!! We missed the last part of your question...please help us out.... but I don't know why they didn't make more of Cass and Frankie's parenting, and I don't know why they didn't make more of the P.I./Lawyer connection, other than to say they didn't think we were a priority. That's the only part of the question we've received.
Mindy (HOST) -- Marilyn you are up next for Stephen.
Marilyn -- First of all, Stephen, let me thank you so much for coming here tonight. I'm a long-time viewer of AW, and absolutely love your character, and admire your acting| ability!! (great voice, too. ) My question is: since the unthinkable has happened (!) and TPTB have really
killed off Frankie, what, if any, effect do you think the fans have on the show? Does anyone from the show regularly read our boards here? And, again, it's just SUPER having you here!!!! (Yes, I'm gushing)
Stephen Schnetzer-- Gush away, Marilyn :> .....
Marilyn -- Oh, I will!!!
Stephen Schnetzer-- I want to believe and have always believed that daytime fans impact their favorite shows, more than the fans in any other medium. However, I must pause, because the overwhelming response to what you referred to as the unthinkable has been certainly noticed and certainly of concern.....but it didn't stop it! Which is not to say that we should give up....... Continue to make your feelings known. Continue to be optimistic. They need you as much as you need them.
Mindy (HOST) -- Traci you have the next question for Stephen.
Traci A. Taylor-Sha -- Awesome past couple weeks, Stephen!! Where would you like to see the story for Cass go--will Felicia be in the picture a lot, and will John get really jealous of their time spent together?? what are your feelings on the new EP?? I can't wait to meet you next April!! And don't be depressed, you have all of us!!! :-) We LOVE you!
Stephen Schnetzer-- Hello, Traci :>!!.....I want to thank you and everybody who's come online tonight for their encouraging comments regarding my performance the last couple of weeks. Again, in all fairness, I have to reiterate that the situation my character was in was so overwhelming to me personally, that it's difficult for me to take full credit for it. I do believe that the powers intend to accentuate the Cass/Felicia friendship. However, I don't know how that's going to impact Felicia's relationship with John. We are in the process of taping his proposal to her... Beyond that, I'm in the dark.....I haven't personally, in the flesh, met our new EP, Charlotte Savitz...
Traci A. Taylor-Sha -- we can see your real emotions in your acting......very sad thing re: Alice thank you!!!!
Stephen Schnetzer-- I did speak to her on the phone yesterday, in the way of introduction, and she, and everything that I have heard about her indicates that she is a very lovely woman, a very genuine person.... but she doesn't begin for another week and a half. I wish her well....she's got the toughest job of all!
Traci A. Taylor-Sha -- hopefully good for the show, too!!!
Mindy (HOST) -- Rebecca, you are next.
Rebecca Eschliman -- Frankie's death would certainly seem to be something that could at least cause Cass to be careless about his meds. We don't necessarily need full-bore mental illness, just a recognition of an ongoing condition that must be kept under control. (Morgan, Felicia, John or Sharlene reminding Cass that he has a daughter to keep sane for.) I have heard that some of TPTB want to make AW more like DAYS, to grab for the MTV demographic. I would imagine that the actors of AW, whose work has been geared towards many-layered and subtle performances would find that idea nauseating. Is there unease among the cast in this regard? Also, Mama Winthrop seemed a really rich vein of storytelling that was alluded to and then ignored. Would you have like to play those family tensions?
Stephen Schnetzer-- Rebecca, how are you :>?....As a matter of fact, tomorrow, I'm going into the studio to do an episode in which Cass's behaviour is curiously manic.....and yet I've been told that we don't want to go in that direction too specifically...If they continue to write it, I have to play it, but I have a feeling that it will only be a suggestion. There is a line in tomorrow's script where Morgan says as a result of my behaviour "Have you been drinking"... My response is "Are you crazy? You know I can't do that". The illusion is that Lithium and alcohol don't mix....but that's as specifically alluded to as I have seen in the scripts to come. Days of Our Lives is an extremely successful show.....I am loathe to cast dispersion. TPTB, we have heard do want to fashion AW more in the image and likeness of DAYS. Naturally, that doesn't sit well with the actors of AW. We want to be more like "Another World". With regards to Mama Winthrop, I thought the potenti!
al was very intriguing. I thought we spent a lot of time on her, given that she doesn't even exist on the show, and I felt that it was a character begging to be developed..... but that was some time ago, and we've had so much turnover in terms of writers and EP's that it may be the sort of thing that falls through the cracks....I always saw an Irene Worth type of actress in the role a
s a strong, if not domineering matriarch.
Mindy (HOST) -- Paul you have the next question for Stephen.
Rebecca Eschliman -- Thanks, Stephen.
Paul M. Kip -- Hi Stephen, thanks for being here tonight, my name is Judy. The little girl that plays Charlie is so adorable, she has done a super job this past week. Is it hard to work with a small child? Of course, I join everyone else in mourning Frankie, I will miss her . Also, who do you most on the show enjoy working with? You don't have to answer that if it's too difficult. :).
Ashley Battel (HOST) -- We'll take two more questions tonight.
Stephen Schnetzer-- Hi, Judy :>!!.....Our Charlie is a delighful girl....her name is Kelly Ann.... She was, and is, a joy to work with. I talked to her before we approached these scenes regarding the death of Frankie (Her "mother")...I told her that she didn't have to do anything....I asked her to just listen to me, and look at me because I knew the situation spoke for itself...and as a result, I think it had a profound simplicity, and I think she was completety delightful, and heartbreaking....It was not difficult to work with her. She and I have a special rapport.
Mindy (HOST) -- Gail you have the next question
Gail E. Dausener-Smith -- If this is your first time online, you are doing a wonderful job! I am so pleased you are here! I have always thought that your performances are stellar, the last wks especially! (But I also think you are gorgeous! ;-) I wanted you to know that I missed your recent visit to Seattle because the event was not advertised, and I found out about your visit to Tacoma on the second day but could not attend. Sorrry I missed you! I do the Charles Keating
web site, and would like to do a page for you..could I write you at NBC for more info? Would you be interested in having your own web page? Wow! All in one breath!
Stephen Schnetzer-- I'm sorry I missed you in the great state of Washington.... of course you can write to me, c/o NBC, or preferably at the AW studio... 1268 East 14th Street Brooklyn, NY 11230 I will get back to you eventually ....your patience is requested :>! Thank you for your encouraging words.
Ashley Battel (HOST) -- We'll take one more question tonight :>!
Mindy (HOST) -- Karri you have the last question for the night
Karri-- Hello again!! :-) ...I feel even more strongly as I read your comments how very jarring this is after losing Ryan also....(I do realize it was PMV's desire to leave).. .Frankie and Ryan were 2 such genuinely good, strong characters (and actors) on the show. (My friend Shirls said she feels they were the soul of the show and I would agree) Their deaths have been very painful to go through. I wonder at the need for them both. :-( Thanks alot for coming..we have truly enjoyed it! Kiss those kids for us!!! Thanks Ash!!! Thanks Mindy and Laura!! :*>
Stephen Schnetzer-- Dear Karri :> ....thank you for your comments....
Shirley Neill -- Thanks, Karri - that is how I feel.
Stephen Schnetzer-- I agree that the powers chose a violent end for dramatic reasons in their defense for two such wonderful characters. It's disturbing ....and we have to see if that's what the fans wanted ultimately...by that,. I mean that kind of drama....that wouldn't have been my choice.
Ashley Battel (HOST) -- We can take one more :>!!
Karri -- Mine either, although I was glad she fought back!
Shirley Neill -- You don't want to leave us, Stephen!
Mindy (HOST) -- CT you have the last question for tonight
CT CH 3 -- Any chance of Kathleeen returning?
Stephen Schnetzer-- Hello again :>! I've heard nothing to that effect.
Ashley Battel (HOST) -- Guess what? We'll take one more :>!
Shirley Neill -- LOL!
Mindy (HOST)-- Karen A you have the FINAL question
Shirley Neill -- You think so, Mindy?
Karen A. -- The last couple of weeks has been outstanding, but I was wondering why Frankie's spirit hasn't come to Cass, or Sharlene as yet? Crystals were all important to Frankie as well yet, I didn't see one at the memorial. Did TFTB decide to minimize her spiritual aspect, though it was so much a part of her personality? Thank you for your many years to the faithful fans of AW.
Stephen Schnetzer-- Dear Karen :> .....We suggested spiritual-type story, but this is a particularly unusual time at AW.... We were between executive producers and in the 14-plus years that I've been there, we are about to have my 9th EP.... and Maggie de Priest is the 18th head writer during my tenure. It's hard to know who to talk to at this point.... so it's been hard to champion an idea.... Your point is well-taken....it's a perfect opportunity for a spiritual encounter given Frankie's character....and given the spiritual quality of Cass and Frankie's relationship. It's time to sign off but I have to say before I go, that to quote Alice Barrett, I believe.. Your response and heartfelt support has meant everything to her.....and to me.......during a uniquely difficult time.
Karri -- :*>
Shirley Neill -- [ ] <----cyber hug
Stephen Schnetzer-- I hope you'll stay with us, and weather this heartbreaking situation.... and I will try to do the same....thank you...thank you...and thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Walter Dosh -- Good night Stephen- we'll always keep Alice and Frankie in our hearts. Thank you for being here, we really appreciate it! We'll keep sending good vibes to you and Alice! Hang in there!
Laura (TVZone) -- Stephen, Thank you very much for being here!!! We enjoyed having you!!!!!! =)
Mindy (HOST) -- Thank you so much for being here Stephen.
CT CH 3 -- Thanks, Stephen for the many, many years of enjoyment you have provided to us AW fans.
Marilyn -- A most important question---will you come back???
Shirley Neill -- Thank you *so* much!!! Yes, Marilyn - that is a very important question!
Karri -- You are so sweet! Thanks!
Bernice R. Killory -- Thanks for taking the time to meet with us.
Rebecca Eschliman -- Thanks to the TVZone hosts for a fascinating opportunity.
Karen -- Goodnight, Stephen, Thanks for coming.
Gail E. Dausener-Smith -- Thank you Stephen...yes, please come back! You are the tops!
Kathy Morley -- Take care. Be good. God bless. Lots of love and big hugs!
Marilyn -- :*> (I couldn't let Karri be the only one who kissed him!!)
Karri -- LOL!
Stephen Schnetzer-- Marilyn, I will definitely come back :>!!
Laura (TVZone) -- Hurray!!!! =)
Shirley Neill -- That's great!!!
Stephen Schnetzer-- I love you all.
Mindy (HOST) -- Wonderful
Walter Dosh -- We'll never forget Alice!
Paul M. Kip -- Goodnight Stephen, thank you so much for taking the time to be here, we love you!
Stephen Schnetzer-- This has been a moving experience for me.
Shirley Neill -- ;*> Me, neither! LOL!
Gail E. Dausener-Smith -- Kisses from Seattle, Stephen!
Marilyn -- Thank you, Stephen!!! I look forward to it!!
Karri -- We love you too Stephen!
Marilyn -- :*>
Shirley Neill -- It's good to grieve together, Stephen - this helps us, too.
Karri -- *2* kisses Marilyn! Oh really!
Kathy Morley -- Hey, kisses from Calgary too! ;*>
Paul M. Kip -- Tear and hugs from Florida
Walter Dosh -- Heartbreak from Green Bay WI
Shirley Neill -- Major tears here in New Jersey....much love and support to you and everyone who is sad at AW, too.
Bernice R. Killory -- Best wishes to you and all the cast at AW.
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